DOVER – Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a potentially serious illness, has been detected in sentinel chickens monitored for mosquito-transmitted diseases in Delaware, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Mosquito Control Section announced today. The Delaware Division of Public Health Laboratory reported to DNREC that four chickens recently tested positive for EEE from three of the 20 sentinel chicken stations monitored by Mosquito Control. The three stations are located in southwestern New Castle County, east-central Kent County, and southeastern Sussex County.
In response to these recent EEE detections, the Mosquito Control Section will increase mosquito population surveillance in areas where the EEE detections have occurred, and take mosquito control actions as warranted to include possible aerial spraying and/or fogging with a spray truck.
Anyone in an area where the virus is present can be infected with EEE, with people who are exposed to high numbers of mosquito bites at the highest risk. The Mosquito Control Section encourages people to avoid mosquito bites and lessen their chances of contracting a mosquito-transmitted disease by:
· Properly using insect repellent containing DEET or another EPA-recognized ingredient whenever outdoors;
· Covering up exposed skin as much as possible by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants; and
· Avoiding known high mosquito population areas or being outside during times of peak mosquito activity, typically dawn and dusk.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a rare, potentially fatal viral disease spread by mosquitoes that can affect both people and horses, and is considered one of the more serious mosquito-transmitted illnesses. While not as common as West Nile Virus (WNV), another mosquito-transmitted disease in Delaware affecting both people and horses, EEE is more virulent than WNV, with a higher fatality risk. Although WNV is usually found before EEE in the